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“Amazing time”

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Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa
Ranked #47 of 545 Hotels in Dubai
Certificate of Excellence
Chelmsford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“Amazing time”
Reviewed November 6, 2013

Stayed for 1 night had a fantastic stay room was lovely, very clean every need was met in a timely way. Total relaxation lying by the pool regularly provided with cold flannels and ice pops. Staff very attentive. Excellent evening entertainment at the nearby restaurant with a middle eastern experience.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Anthony S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mohamed A, General Manager at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, responded to this review, November 7, 2013
Dear guest,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review in TripAdvisor with regards to your recent stay at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa.

I am extremely delighted with your complimentary remarks regarding your stay, our facilities and specifically on the service you have received.

Your kind words will not only motivate our colleagues, but inspire the entire team to continue in providing the best service you deserve.

Once again, we really appreciate your feedback and we look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Please do not hesitate to contact us anytime, if you need any further assistance.

Kind regards,

M. Aghoury
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
79 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
Reviewed November 2, 2013

Have been to Bab Al Shams a few times for drinks and snacks and Al Sarab (the rooftop terrace) and always had a great time and introduced the place to friends also.

So we decided to go the next step and stay a night and rang up during the week to find out what the options were for dinner. I told expressly that Masala was a la carte (even though it was Diwali) and even clarified this as we had been sent an email notification of a AED199 buffet deal, and were were not interested in a buffet.

So I booked for 4 pax. @8pm.

We arrived on time at 3pm and I mentioned the upgrade option that had been requested as per email confirmation received from BAS stating this was AED238 upgrade for a junior suite (happy to send the email to management if they like). There was nothing in the system, and the receptionist said, no this would be an additional AED400 and something...and as I didn't have the email with me, let it go.

Went to the room, pleasant and comfortable for it's style, as would be expected for the price (the higher "special occasion rates") and then headed to the pool. There was not a lounger in site, every single one was taken, so I guess it was a full house the night before (or everyone arrives a lot earlier than 3pm and heads to the pool).

So sat at pool bar restaurant and had a pre made "fresh" watermelon juice and sushi. My husband wanted a Corona, but this is about the only 5 star hotel in UAE that doesn't have that, so settled for a juice and a chicken dish.

In the room there was a pamphlet promoting the "buffet dinner" at Masala so we rang and switched the booking to Italian restaurant, not that there was any need because we were only one of 3 tables. But they did say they were full from 6pm and that everyone had left by 8pm.

I would dispute that and think that it's more a case of everyone knows how poor the food is there. Has management ever tried the Caprese salad for example? Or what they try and pass off as one. I won't bore you with the rest of the dishes, but you must have european guests (and of course Italians) who would be horrified by what you are attempting to pass off as Italian food.

During dinner, I began to feel somewhat queasy and spent the rest of the night communing with the bathroom bowl, and as I was the only person to have had sushi, I imagine that may have had something to do with it. It came wrapped in glad wrap, it was late afternoon and who knows when it was made but by the chewiness of the rice, I imagine quite some time earlier...

Breakfast was included but there was no way we were eating another meal at BAS so we got up at 600am (not much sleep for me), and checked out.

Our friends who joined up for dinner were asked to pay AED 375 for the hotel taxi back to Arabian ranches, which is about 15 mins away or wait a couple of hours. We all wished we'd simply stayed at home where we would have at least enjoyed the food.

Room Tip: Go during the week when this is an ideal place for a romantic break, but don't go to the Italia...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank GlobalGal5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mohamed A, General Manager at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, responded to this review, November 4, 2013
Dear guest,

We would like to thank you for taking the time to share your experiences during your recent stay at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa.

I greatly appreciate your comments but at the same time I am obviously disappointed to read that you experienced certain shortcomings during your stay which, therefore, has not been up to “Bab Al Shams standard”. For that, I would like to apologize. I will discuss with my team on how we can prevent those points to happen in the future.

Your invaluable feedback is very important to ensure that we continually deliver the service Bab Al Shams Desert Resort and Spa is renowned for.

Nonetheless, I hope that we may welcome you again in the near future.

Please feel free to contact me directly if you wish to make your next reservation, so I can ensure you will be well-looked after.

Kind regards,

M. Aghoury
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beijing
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 1, 2013

The hotel is very, very good. A lot of stuff to do for such a remote place. We went to a restaurant where they had some awesome entertainment with camels and belly dancers, and one of the best buffets I ever had.

We also did some archery and the desert drive (dune diving). Both were incredible experiences.

The reason I gave 4 stars and not 5 is that once you get there, it is hard to go anywhere else, which is not a real issue, apart from the fact that you are stuck in their eco system. This means that you have to pay exorbitant prices for food and drinks.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kristof_v1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mohamed A, General Manager at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, responded to this review, November 4, 2013
Dear guest,

Thank you for sharing your wonderful experiences during your recent stay at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa.

We are delighted to know that you enjoyed the activities and your dinner at our Al Hadheerah Restaurant. We truly appreciate any feedback as it is comments from our valued guests that enable us to maintain or improve our services and facilities to exceed guest expectations.

Once again, thank you very much for choosing to stay with us and we look forward to welcoming you again to the resort soon.

Kind regards,

M. Aghoury
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Freeport, New York
Level Contributor
37 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed October 30, 2013

My wife and I stayed here for 2 nights and overall were disappointed with this property for several reasons, despite some very positive attributes of the hotel.

Having had the opportunity to travel elsewhere in the Middle East, it was immediately apparent after our arrival that this hotel did not represent a true desert experience. The property is right off a well-traveled road (it is only about one hour from Dubai) and there are numerous structures (not belonging to the hotel) easily visible in the distance (as is also a major telecommunications tower!). It should also be noted that this road is very well lit at night, so you do not get the sense that you are in an isolated area. A true desert resort experience gives the visitor a real sense of isolation, of being in a place far removed from other places/things...with only sand and sand dunes for as far as the eye can see. This property did not provide this sense of place and seemed a bit too contrived.

There are various pricing options available at this hotel, including packages with included activities such as a desert drive, camel riding, etc. We elected to purchase the hotel room and buffet breakfast only package as we were not sure of what level of activities we wanted to commit to in advance. We found out that purchasing activities on the spot during our stay are prohibitively expensive. For example a *one hour* desert drive for 2 persons was AED950 (about $260), total. This excursion represented for us a very poor value proposition and thus ended up not booking it.

As is sometimes the case when staying in a self-contained resort, the food experience tends to be less than ideal with prices that do not represent a good value proposition for the guest. This was true of our experience at Bab Al Shams. The buffet breakfast at the Al Forsan Restaurant was below average given the very mediocre quality of the food, thought the variety and presentation was OK. We had dinner one night at the Al Sarab Rooftop Lounge and we even tried the Le Dune Pizzeria - food was fair to good both evenings. (Note: there is an Arabian Nights themed restaurant - Al Hadheerah - which we did not have a chance to dine at, though we did visit the restaurant. It was very impressive looking.)

Our accommodations were comfortable. The room was of average size and was nicely decorated. We did have some issues with our electrical circuit breaker panel the first day/night which caused us to lose our lights and air-conditioning on a couple of occasions, but the hotel did an admirable job in seeing that these problems were resolved as soon as we reported them. A very nice feature of this hotel is that they provide in-room internet access (I could not get Wi-Fi in our room, but the Ethernet connection worked very well).

On the positive side...we found this hotel extremely charming in the way it was designed and laid out. The architectural style is very attractive and the public areas are really quite nice. The pool and the surrounding gardens/landscaping are well done and nicely maintained.

As to the service, we found the service somewhat variable, but on the whole it was above average as most of the staff were friendly and helpful.

Room Tip: This hotel has some attractive qualities; however, to get the most value from your experience look c...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Boeing747-8I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mohamed A, General Manager at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, responded to this review, October 31, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review regarding your recent stay at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort and Spa.

We would like to extend our sincerest apologies for any inconvenience caused when you stayed, and we are confident that this is not a true reflection of our traditional desert experience. However your points are noted and necessary actions will be taken.

We do hope that we will have an opportunity to restore your faith in Bab Al Shams Desert Resort and Spa, and once again, thank you for taking the time to post your review on Trip Advisor.

Kind regards,

M. Aghoury
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed October 29, 2013

This was a romantic get away that my boyfriend arranged for us. We stayed Saturday-Sunday, so the place was not too busy. I like the idea of the hotel being located in the middle of the desert. There was such a contrast of being in the infinity swimming pool surrounded by sand.
The pace is super relaxing but if you want a bit of the actions there are many activities to do during the day an evening. The hotel has (I think) 4 restaurant and a spa. During the evening I recommend to go to an Arabic place upstairs just opposite the pool (cant remember the name of it). They have life music there that creates a beautiful atmosphere , you can smoke shisha and have couple of drinks (they serve both alcoholic and not alcoholic cocktails).

The whole resort is made in Arabic style and has so many little details that makes it appear even more unique. I can not think of a person who would like to stay there..
It can get a bit boring and located a bit far away from the city (30 minute drive) so I would only recommend to stay for 1-3 days.

The service was brilliant, everybody was super friendly and helpful. Would probably go back at some point in the future.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank JEKGE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mohamed A, General Manager at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, responded to this review, October 31, 2013
Dear guest,

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your experience regarding your recent stay at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa.

It is most encouraging for us to receive such praise and we look forward to welcoming you on a return visit to Bab Al Shams.

Please feel free to contact me directly if you wish to make your next reservation.

Kind regards,

M. Aghoury
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed October 28, 2013

We were staying three nights in the Bab al Shams. It was a unique, not to forget experience in an oriental, charming and romantic environment.
The whole hotel is furnished in a classic oriental way so it looks like straight out of a movie. From outside, the hotel looks like a calm oasis in the desert, with thousands of palms around the hotel venue. During night, it is really a romantic retreat.

The room we have had was quite small - at least to other hotels we have before. However, due to the fact that you will stay all day at the pool and only use the room as your place to sleep, this is not really something to complain. However, the darkness of the rooms could bother some people but it did not affect us at all.

The whole facility itself is a pure masterpiece of architecture. The both pools, especially the big infinity pool, is very beautiful and enables you to have a view over the whole desert. Again, after sundown and with the lights on, the pool is one unique experience.
When talking about the pools, we might have to strive out maybe the only downgrade during our stay: the hotel has been quite busy during Thursday, Friday and partly Saturday with a lot of families with young children around the pool as well. Due to the fact that there is no "adults only pool area" it can be quite noisy and the pools filled with too many young children. This could be definitively something to be changed, because with busy times around the pool the retreat can be far away of being so. It would be much more convenient to have the big pool reserved for adults (and grown ups).

In overall, the facilities are very clean and staff is VERY attentive and friendly. The hotel also offers activities such as Spa treatments, camel and horse riding and e-bike tours through the desert, which we all have enjoyed very much. A camel tour in the morning is definitively something to recommend.
There is also a daily complementory offering such as short camel ridings and falconry.

Also a recommendation is the rooftop bar with a very comfortable atmosphere and view over the whole desert. There as well the whole staff is very friendly and attentative. In the evening, you will have the chance to enjoy live music. On Thursday and Friday night a lot of native people were enjoying the venue, which is definitively something nice to experience as a European.

Last but not least we want to mention the Al Hadheerah restaurant which lies around 400m outside of the hotel venue. This is by FAR one of the best experiences we have ever had. The whole location is just beautiful, romantic and the food offering is just OUTSTANDING. Also the whole entertainment program is just great, with dancers, live music and belly dancers as well as a heritage section and show. If you are in Dubai and you have enough time to drive to Al Hadheerah (around 1h from the city), this is a must! We have enjoyed the whole evening from the beginning to the end and will definitively go there again......

In overall, this is really a place to recommend and one of the most convenient places we have ever been to.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank salming1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mohamed A, General Manager at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, responded to this review, October 30, 2013
Dear guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback from your recent stay with us at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa.

We appreciate your kind acknowledgements of our exquisite facilities and high level of customer service provided by our team of incredible colleagues.

We are delighted that we have been successful in achieving the high standards of timely and quality service delivery Bab Al Shams is renowned for during your entire stay.

Once again, thank you for recommending Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa on Trip Advisor and we look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.


Kind regards,

M. Aghoury
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Munich, Germany
Level Contributor
22 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed October 27, 2013

Whilst in Dubai I visited a hotel in the Desert. Unfortunately I did not stay overnight, but I had the opportunity to see the hotel and the restaurant which is on the rooftop. It was amazing; from the pool area I had the chance to look into one of the rooms of the hotel.

This is definitely one of the most exclusive hotels. It has a unique ambiance and an authentic flair to it. The location of this hotel is like none other, from the pool side and every other corner of the rooftop is the most amazing views of the desert that you can only dream of. The pool is beautifully designed and I really found it fascinating that it provides different temperature zones.

Live music is offered in the evening and you can sit undisturbed on tons of pillows. And just around the corner it's a romantic Bedouin area. In the evening time, they begin with dinner preparations and whether you're a, guest of the hotel or a visitor, you will need to pay fee (+/- 80€ pp.) and they are no additional costs, only if you are interested in shisha. With music, BBQ and an all you can eat restaurant. You could spend the whole night there, sitting under the stars and eating the most delicious food. Fresh fish, vegetables and typical Arabian dishes. The best thing about this hotel is the fact that you don't need to be a guest of the hotel to take part in the evening’s festivities. The distance to resort is around a 45min drive in the route to Abu Dhabi. Highly recommended

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank myweets
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mohamed A, General Manager at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, responded to this review, October 28, 2013
Dear guest,

Thank you so much for sharing this very kind review about your recent experience at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa.

Our sole focus is to provide a flawless and excellent service to our valued guests, and to contribute towards a memorable experience at the resort. Therefore we are delighted to learn that even though you did not stay overnight, you had gained wonderful memories during your visit.

Your kind review has been shared with everyone here and we are all looking forward to welcoming you again on your next visit to Bab Al Shams.


Kind regards,

M. Aghoury
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa

Property: Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa
Address: International Endurance City, 308th Rd, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Phone Number:
Location: United Arab Emirates > Emirate of Dubai > Dubai
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Dubai
#35 Spa Hotel in Dubai
#40 Business Hotel in Dubai
#43 Luxury Hotel in Dubai
#47 Family Hotel in Dubai
#53 Romantic Hotel in Dubai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 113
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Translated from Arabic as "Gateway to the sun", the *award-winning 5-star Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa is designed to resemble a fortified rural Arab village amidst the desert landscape. Featuring low-rise architecture, this sandy coloured style fort boasts the main tower with Reception area and lobby and clusters of two-storey buildings housing guest accommodation, restaurants, spa and meeting facilities interconnected by seemingly endless little walkways. The charm of Arabia is personified in every corner of the property with small lanes running through the hotel, scattered around ponds and secluded seating areas, shaded courtyards, water fountains and trickling streams bestowing the feel of cool tranquillity. The abundance of green garden areas and manicured lawns adds to the quiet and soothing environment of the resort. The rustic Arabian theme of exterior design continues to flow in the carefully selected interior decorations and settings featuring uncovered natural stone floors, bare plastered walls, dark wood and iron fixtures, warm dimmed lighting and an abundance of artefacts showcased throughout the property. The resort boasts 113 rooms and suites offering cosy accommodation in an authentic Arabian style with majority of the rooms having a private terrace. All guest rooms and public areas have complimentary Wi-Fi access. *World's Leading Desert Resort, World Travel Awards. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bab Al Shams Desert Hotel Dubai
Bab Al Shams Desert Resort And Spa

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